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BigLaw is too woke, former solicitor general Clement tells Federalist Society

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Solicitor General Paul Clement

Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement appeared on a Saturday panel at an event for the Federalist Society. Photo from the Office of the Solicitor General/U.S. Department of Justice, PD US DOJ, via Wikimedia Commons.

BigLaw is too woke, according to a former U.S. solicitor general who left Kirkland & Ellis in a dispute over representation of gun clients.

Appearing on a Saturday panel at an event for the Federalist Society, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement said large law firms have a “very serious” problem of liberal bias, Law360 reports.

“Part of the phenomenon is that big law firms are becoming increasingly woke because their clients are becoming increasingly woke,” Clement said.

Clement and another Kirkland & Ellis lawyer, Erin Murphy, left earlier this year. They started a new appellate boutique, Clement & Murphy. Clement said at the time that Kirkland had offered him a choice: Drop his Second Amendment clients, or withdraw from the law firm.

Other panelists agreed that partners at large law firms are more liberal than conservative. But they said there is still room for conservatives in BigLaw, according to Law360.

Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman said he has represented unpopular clients at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, including Monsanto—a maker of the Roundup weed killer—oil companies and Guantanamo detainees. Nobody “blackballs” any of his representations, he said, although he is sometimes barred from taking on certain clients because of conflicts with existing clients or matters.

Waxman said those situations make him sometimes think of moving to a smaller firm.

Clement responded by offering Waxman a job, Law360 reports.

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